19th December     No Comments

2000 houses still have no power in Canterbury, New Zealand

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2000 houses still have no power in Canterbury, New Zealand

Monday, June 19, 2006

2000 Cantabrians are still without power a week after a huge snowstorm struck and took out the electricity in mid and south Canterbury.

Sunday June 18 came and brought more snow to mid and south Canterbury, but just a minuscule amount compared to last weeks.

Civil Defence says “It is keeping an eye on the situation, and welfare work is continuing to make sure everyone is coping. Iroquois helicopters are reportedly on standby at Wigram Air Base if needed,”

Chief executive of Orion (a power company) Roger Sutton says, “Another 20 or 30 homes are without power in the Lake Coleridge area.”

Repair crews were taken out of duty on Sunday because the snow got too deep, but should be back on the job Monday June 19.

NZ Post also reports that they have had to cancel deliveries to some Dunedin suburbs because it got too icy. NZ Post says that deliveries will continue on Tuesday June 20 or if the weather clears up before that.

The MetService has put severe weather warnings for some of the central cities of the North Island.

Barry Stratton, Transit, says that all roads are open in the South Island, but some will have delays.

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18th December     No Comments

Russian police to ‘check’ officer allegedly involved in large theft and murder

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Russian police to ‘check’ officer allegedly involved in large theft and murder

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry’s Department for Own Safety says it will begin a “check” on Russian Militsiya lieutenant colonel Artem Kuznetsov, who is publicly accused by a group of American lawyers of illegitimately imprisoning and then torturing Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to death. Later, head of Investigating Committee of the Prosecution Office Alexander Bastrykin said he will “personally check” the course of investigation into actions by Kuznetsov and his coworkers. In 2007 and 2008, Magnitsky worked in Russia for American investment fund company Hermitage Capital Management and was involved in the disclosure of a large-scale corruption among several top law enforcement officials in Moscow.

Lawyers concerned with the death of Magnitsky, which occurred in Butyrka prison on November 16 of last year, started the bilingual website russian-untouchables.com, where they presented evidence of Artem Kuznetsov’s alleged efforts to cloak the crimes. As reported by the website’s authors, Kuznetsov was a key player in a US$230 million theft from the Russian government and then successfully brought criminal charges against everyone who reported his theft.

The central part of website material is a ten-minute video providing a summary of the case. Its main point is the fact that multiple large-scale luxury buyings registered to members of Kuznetsov’s family; they are not comparable to official income of all of these persons. It is emphasized in the video that Kuznetsov’s official monthly income is $850 per month (in roubles), and to gain all the assets found to be connected with him he would have to work for 322 years. The video was released in the middle of last week, and gained enormous popularity within Russian blogosphere, and drew attention of some mass media.

One of the American lawyers, Jamison Firestone, states at the website that last month he directed several petitions to check the sources of Kuznetsov’s family wealth to Russian authorities: the President of Russia, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, Department for Own Safety and Department for Preventing Corruption and Other Crimes of Interior Ministry. News website Lenta.ru states that addresses were directed on May, 21, but there were no replies since then.

Magnitsky’s case has received international attention for several months. In April 2010 US Senator Ben Cardin proposed the cancellation of US visas to 60 Russian officials allegedly connected with Magnitsky’s death. He directed an appeal to US State Secretary Hillary Clinton.

There has been no decision on it yet, but last Tuesday Clinton urged Russia to bring officials responsible for the death of Magnitsky to justice, The Daily Telegraph says. She told the US-Russia “Civil Society to Civil Society” summit in Washington that the Obama administration is “deeply concerned about the safety of journalists and human rights activists in Russia”. In the meantime Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev were meeting last week during Medvedev’s visit to US.

Magnitsky’s advocates emphasize that Kuznetsov, since committing his crimes, was promoted in service; previously, he was working for the Department of Tax Crimes of the Central Internal Affairs Directorate of Moscow, and at the start of 2010 began to work in Department for Economic Safety of the Interior Ministry. Recently there were many cases when civil groups and private persons publicly reported alleged large-scale corruption crimes within top Russian authorities, with some evidence provided.

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18th December     No Comments

Belgian bus company knows solution for car parking problems

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Belgian bus company knows solution for car parking problems

Monday, May 21, 2007

Do you have a hard time finding a parking space? Take the bus or tram if you go to the city. That’s the message Belgian bus company De Lijn (The Line) is sending to promote public transport as a solution for car parking problems. As a part of their media campaign, they have jokingly suggested that people use the top of the busses as parking space.

Another idea they are using in their media campaign: maybe you could park your car on the bottom of a canal? The bus company is using an invented diving company called Cardive, which has divers that offer to dump your car in the canal. The divers walk around in cities and hand out free bus tickets and maps of the bus network.

To reach car drivers who are not using public transport, the media campaign has several radio commercials that present other solutions to the car parking problem. You could use “asphalt-spray” to camouflage your car, making it invisible for policemen (although you then need to remember where you’ve parked). Or you could use the “flat tire kit”, which comes with a fake flat tire and an inflatable dummy, so it looks like you’re replacing your flat tire. The final idea the bus company has is to use a View-Master to fool parking guards into believing that your car has been stationed correctly.

A survey among 4000 customers of De Lijn shows that two out of three car owners who use public transport, do so to avoid parking space troubles, and in cities this percentage rises to 90%. The survey further shows that 39% use the bus to go shopping.

During the month of May, the auto-bus and the divers tour several cities in Flanders (Leuven, Hasselt, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp).

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17th December     No Comments

Category:August 6, 2010

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Category:August 6, 2010
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17th December     No Comments

Sculptor to teach animation maquettes at VAB Creative Studio

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Sculptor to teach animation maquettes at VAB Creative Studio

Friday, May 26, 2006

Brampton, ON — On Wednesday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m., sculptor Alvaro Cervantes will host a meet and greet at the Visual Arts Brampton Creative Studio. Cervantes will be showing his precise sculptures to guests, and promoting his upcoming multi-week workshop at the studio. The course is open to students who love cartoon, no matter their skill levels or experience sculpting.

“We’re extremely pleased to present such a unique course at VAB,” group president Keith Moreau commented. “Alvaro is a master of his craft, and students are sure to benefit immensely from the experience.”

Alvaro has specialized in maquettes for 16 years, creating sculptures used by companies including Disney, Pixar, and Marvel Comics. His works have served as reference for animators, and as prototypes for toys. Some of his most recent work is for the Disney-Pixar film Cars, which will was released today in theatres. Cervantes has taught the workshop at Oakville’s Sheridan College, home of a respected Animation BA program.

The meet-and-greet is free for everyone. The timing and price of the course will be established by Wednesday.

The Visual Arts Brampton Creative Studio is located in the Bartley’s Square Mall, at the corner of Hurontario and Steeles Avenue. The studio is the only suite in the lower level, and is accessible through a glassed in lobby.

For more information on the meet-and-greet or the course, contact visualartsbrampton@gmail.com, or phone 905-453-9142.

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16th December     No Comments

“Genius” award recipient and other luminaries campaigning for worldwide renunciation of war

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“Genius” award recipient and other luminaries campaigning for worldwide renunciation of war

Friday, January 13, 2006

In a recent ZNet Commentary, Howard Zinn wrote that a group of people, including Gino Strada, Paul Farmer, Kurt Vonnegut, Nadine Gordimer, and Eduardo Galeano, are promoting the creation of worldwide gatherings to renounce war. Their intention, according to Zinn, is to make worldwide renunciation of war so popular that halting existing wars and preventing the beginning of new wars is politically irresistible.

In his article, After This War, Zinn asks, “should we not think beyond this war? Should we begin to think, even before this shameful war is over, about ending our addiction to massive violence, and using the enormous wealth of our country for human needs?” He goes on to talk of ending not just “this war or that war but war itself. Perhaps the time has come to bring an end to war, and turn the human race onto a path of health and healing.”

The five people have been actively involved in global issues for many years and have a solid track record of accomplishments on the world stage.

Dr. Gino Strada is a war surgeon and the founder of Emergency, a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to providing assistance to civilian victims of war. His recent book Green Parrots: A War Surgeon’s Diary helped persuade Italy to abandon the use and manufacture of a flying anti-personnel mine.

Dr. Paul Farmer is a Harvard professor and practicing physician. In 1987, he helped found the worldwide health organization Partners in Health, which treats some of the poorest people on Earth. Dr. Paul Farmer has received a “genius” award from the MacArthur Foundation.

Kurt Vonnegut is an American writer and humanist, currently serving as Honorary President of the American Humanist Association. As a WWII prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, Kurt witnessed the fire bombing of Dresden. This event formed the core of his book Slaughterhouse-Five. In a column for In These Times, he began “… our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees … the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East … like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.”

Nadine Gordimer from South Africa received the 1991 Nobel Prize in literature and 1974 Booker Prize. She received worldwide praise for her leadership for South Africa to re-examine and replace its long held racist policy of apartheid.

Eduardo Galeano’s books combine history, political analysis, journalism and fiction. “I’m a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America … condemned to amnesia. The Open Veins of Latin America is one of Galeano’s works covering the exploitation of Latin America by foreign powers from the 15th century onwards.

Both Nadine and Eduardo’s books are recognized by the Great Books Foundation as among the top 40 books in Citizens of the World: Readings in Human Rights. We Say No by Eduardo Galeano and Comrades by Nadine Gordimer are listed there along with the Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln, Independence by Mahatma Gandhi, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.

Howard Zinn is a U.S. historian, political scientist and author of fifteen books. Howard writes, “In a world of clashing interests—war against peace, nationalism against internationalism, equality against greed, and democracy against elitism—- it seems to me both impossible and undesirable to be neutral in those conflicts. I do not claim to be neutral, nor do I want to be… . I will try to be fair to opposing ideas by accurately representing them.”

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16th December     No Comments

Laundry Room Organization Keeping Your Laundry Room Clean Is Easier Than You Think

By Josh Neumann

Laundry room organization is a big issue today with many people. Think about it-this is the room you place just about all your dirty items, whether it be clothes, bedspreads, towels, etc. It can be very easy to lost track of all these things and hopefully lose control of your bedroom.

What an effort it takes to maintain a place meant for keeping dirty clothes clean! It is just like talking about a garbage container being clutter free. Laundry room organization is just what you need to keep your clothes clean smoothly and effortlessly.

You need to set up a laundry room organization plan according to your budget. You can have a wonderful laundry room without being extravagant. This room is going to be a place where washer, dryer, ironing boards and hangers all compliment.

You can attach a small cabinet or a rack to the wall for your stereo system. Listen to your favorite music or your teacher as you wash.

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You can arrange shelves and hang curtains to give your room a tidy appearance. Keep you detergent, bleaches, color fixers, fabric softener and bars on the shelf after use.

Do not leave dirty clothes hanging in the bathroom if it is attached to the laundry room. It will hopelessly fail the purpose of laundry room organization.

Always remember to stack clothes in the closet that have been washed, dried and ironed. This will save you from a rewash. If possible fold your laundry and keep it in a laundry bag before washing. This will give your room a neat look.

More important than a makeover is how well you are able to keep it the way you organized it. Laundry room organization will not only enable you to get the room cleaned, but most importantly keep it clean.

You can easily achieve this by simply cleaning up your things the moment you are done with them. For instance, after using an item in the laundry room, immediately put it back in the place you got it from. It sounds so simply, but often times people make a mountain out of a molehill by leaving out one item after another.

They tell themselves they will put that particularly thing away, only to then leave out another, and another. Pretty soon the room is back in the hopeless mess it started with. The bottom line: set up a laundry room organization plan according to a predetermined budget, and stick with it.

About the Author: For more great organization tips, try visiting organizelifetips.com, a popular site that teaches how to organize your closet as well as home organization tips.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=174290&ca=Home+Management

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16th December     No Comments

Greek police arrest more than 60 people for gold smuggling

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Greek police arrest more than 60 people for gold smuggling

Saturday, December 1, 2018

On Wednesday, Greek police announced they arrested 63 people for gold smuggling. According to a report from Associated Press (AP), police seized cash, gold bars, and other items, totaling about two million euros (roughly 2.3 million US dollars).

Police said on Friday the police operation, started on Tuesday, involved 50 homes and 30 stores. Police accused the suspects of buying stolen gold from foreigners who allegedly robbed homes.

Police said the scheme had involved at least two collaborating criminal networks over two years or longer. The suspects had allegedly been melting the gold items and exporting the gold to Turkey using tour buses to avoid taxes, and to Germany. The gold was allegedly smuggled through a number of pawn shops, according to AP.

Press reported pawn shops have multiplied in Greece in the financial crisis ongoing there since 2010, which reportedly has caused people to buy an increased amount of gold and silver to store their assets.

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15th December     No Comments

Cars big winner as 34th Annual Annie Awards handed out

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Cars big winner as 34th Annual Annie Awards handed out

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cars drove home the big prize last night, from the 34th Annual Annie Awards. The animation industry’s highest honor, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annies recognise contributions to animation, writing, directing, storyboarding, voice acting, composing, and much more.

As mentioned, Pixar took home the big prize last night, after facing stiff competition from four other Happy Feet, Monster House, Open Season, and Over the Hedge.

But the biggest winner of the night didn’t get a “Best Animated Feature” nod at all. Flushed Away won five feature animation categories including Animated Effects (Scott Cegielski), Character Animation (Gabe Hordos), Production Design (Pierre-Olivier Vincent), Voice Acting (Sir Ian McKellan as Toad), Writing (Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Chris Lloyd, Joe Keenan, and Will Davies).

Over The Hedge won awards for Directing (Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick), Storyboarding (Gary Graham), and Character Design (Nicolas Marlet).

Of little surprise, Randy Newman won an Annie for Cars in the “Music in an Animated Feature Production” category. Newman has won many Oscars for his movie music, and has a nomination this year for the song “Our Town”. Newman didn’t attend the Annies, instead picking up a Grammy for “Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media”.

DisneyToon Studios’ Bambi II won “Best Home Entertainment Production”, while “Best Animated Short Subject” went to Blue Sky Studios’ No Time For Nuts, which is based on Ice Age.

“Best Animated Video Game” went to Flushed Away The Game, while a United Airlines ad named “Dragon” won a “Best Animated Television Commercial” Annie for DUCK Studios.

Contents

  • 1 Foster an Annie fav on TV
  • 2 Wikinews was there
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources

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12th December     No Comments

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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